The desire to tell this story stems from a passion within me to cinematically explore relationships with sympathy and as devoid of judgement as humanly possible; this includes relationships between people, but also relationships between people and their environment. In Alberta, with the economy so tied to natural resources and ostensibly “The Land,” I think people form particularly profound relationships to their surroundings. We expect The Land to go on forever, yet we also want to conquer it and drain it of everything, leaving no corner of the earth undeveloped. And when we inevitably cut down the final tree and replace it with a three-bedroom made of vinyl, we will curse the sterility of our surroundings and pay good money to travel to where we might catch a glimpse of a moose or something. It’s a wonderful paradox, something I think we are all confronted with in this province. And in a way, I think that often the same fallacies present themselves in our relationships, the ways in which we treat other people. We expect everything from other people, and yet how many of us are able to deliver the kind of performance we seem to inextricably demand from those others? We recognize this and it hurts our egos, so we lash out, usually as passively and insidiously as possible, but sometimes with actual aggression. While this sort of conflict feels fundamentally human, it’s understandably terrifying. Making films about this tension is a way to alleviate not only my own fear, but hopefully others’ fears as well.
This didn’t really have a whole lot to do with the movie I was proposing at the time, which might have been a determining factor in why I didn’t get the grant. Can’t really blame them. If I was on the jury I think I would have just written “too existential” in red pen and moved on.
That said, I guess this is what was on my mind at the time. Sometimes it’s just hard to write about anything else.
Currently revising this proposal for a new application. Keep you posted. See what I did there?
Until next time.
Dylan – Edmonton, AB